Criminal Justice Reform

Prisoner rehabilitation and reintegration

The pressure on Victoria’s justice system has been well documented. Within the current rhetoric of the ‘law and order’ agenda, what is often left unsaid is that most people sentenced to imprisonment will one day be released back into the community.

So what is the Government doing to prepare these people for release? The troubling answer is: not enough.

In 2014, we wrote a submission to the Ombudsman urging for a human rights-based approach. We argued that security regimes, such as solitary confinement, have a detrimental effect on rehabilitation. We advocated for increased investment in rehabilitation and transition programs and prisoner education.

In her report, the Ombudsman adopted many of our recommendations and we have seen increased investment in these programs. But with the justice system as stretched as ever, these reforms have not gone far enough. We must do better.